Double naming ceremony for 3D seismic survey vessels

Paul Boughton
Purpose-built 3D seismic vessels incorporate the advanced features and maritime technologies for minimising the vessels environmental footprint including the risk of accidental pollution into the marine environment.

Polarcus Limited has held a double naming ceremony Polarcus Nadia and Polarcus Naila. The ceremony, at the Drydocks World - Dubai shipyard in the United Arab Emirates, was attended by over 200 local and international guests.

Both are modern, purpose-built 3D seismic vessels incorporating the ULSTEIN X-BOW hull along with many advanced features and maritime technologies for minimising the vessels environmental footprint including the risk of accidental pollution into the marine environment.

With a top speed of 15 knots, the identical vessels have an overall length of 88.8m, a beam of 19m, and are capable of deploying 12 streamers of 8000m length.

West Africa

Polarcus Nadia (Fig. 1), derived from the Arabic female name meaning 'the beginning, first', successfully completed sea trials immediately prior to the ceremony and mobilised in December on her first contract with TGS, for a 2000 km2 long-offset 3D survey offshore West Africa. Polarcus Naila, whose name means 'acquirer, the one who succeeds', is scheduled to mobilise in February to undertake her first contract, of approximately two months duration, for a leading independent oil company offshore West Africa.

In his welcome speech, Rolf Ronningen, CEO Polarcus (Fig. 2), expressed his gratitude to the shipyard and to everyone involved in the project, before commenting: "This is truly the most exciting and memorable day so far in our relatively short history. We are now reaping the fruits of the goals we set ourselves early last year, as we prepare for operations of some of the most advanced seismic vessels in the industry."

Mia Zickerman, wife of Polarcus director and Executive Vice President Peter Zickerman, delivered the blessing and assumed the role of Godmother to Polarcus Nadia by successfully breaking a bottle of champagne against the bow of the vessel. Marianne Zickerman, wife of Polarcus founder and director, Charlie Zickerman, similarly assumed the role of Godmother to Polarcus Naila. After the naming the guests were taken on a tour of Polarcus Nadia.

Polarcus is a pure play marine geophysical company with a pioneering environmental agenda, specialising in high-end towed streamer data acquisition from pole to pole. Its fleet of modern 3D seismic vessels using the innovative ULSTEIN X-BOW design and incorporating advanced maritime technologies for improved operational efficiency with a reduced environmental footprint.

Green technologies

The ultra-modern vessels of the Polarcus fleet, with the investments in 'green' technologies and the associated company commitment to a pioneering environmental agenda, are designed to help Polarcus' clients to work safely and efficiently within these constraints.

Featuring the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) CLEAN-DESIGN notation, and with all Polarcus' vessels running on low-sulphur marine gas oil, the company aims to operate their fleet with the lowest environmental footprint in the industry.

The vessels are also built with a double hull, hence there are no fuel tanks adjacent to the vessels' external hulls thereby reducing the risk of spillage into the environment in the case of a collision.

West Africa

For the Arctic, this is a significant safety consideration as well as an environmental benefit, ensuring the vessels have improved floatability characteristics. The Arctic Ocean has an abundance of rich and varied sealife, including many species of marine mammals. The proximity of seismic operations to these animals and the effects that the source arrays might have on their wellbeing has long been studied and debated. While research into this subject is still ongoing, mammal disturbance mitigation will continue to be a high priority for Polarcus

The lastest generation bilge cleaning and ballast water treatment technologies, the latter using the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) first type approved and 100 per cent chemical free system from Alfa Laval, will minimise the risk of pollution and eliminate the spread of foreign invasive species across the oceans. This spreading of species has been recently identified by the IMO as one of the four greatest threats to the world's oceans. In addition, the vessels carry the NAUT-AW notation that indicates the vessels are equipped to avoid bridge system failures by addressing both technical and human-related issues, with a particular emphasis on tasks related to navigation in narrow and congested waters, as well as areas with complex offshore infrastructure.

Statistical data have shown that grounding and collisions account for almost 50 per cent of all serious shipping incidents and the majority of these are categorised as being due to human error.

Polarcus is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit

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